post 6

Let the Spring Light Wipe out Hate

By Chelsea Ware

Chelsea 2

“Sometimes the Bible in the hand of one man is worse than a whisky bottle in the hand of (another)… There are just some kind of men who – who’re so busy worrying about the next world they’ve never learned to live in this one, and you can look down the street and see the results.”

― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

Spring’s warm weather is almost here! I love spring at PSU because I can expect to enjoy sunny afternoons on the grass, music by the water front, and ice cream breaks in between classes. However, there is one aspect of warmer weather at PSU that I don’t look forward too, and that is the evangelical preachers in the park blocks. As someone who spends a lot of time of campus, I’ve come to see PSU as my home and find it jarring when I hear someone screaming intolerant, homophobic, anti-Semitic and vulgar comments so brazenly. Whenever I see the preachers in action, I usually also see a group of students crowded around them shouting back. While I too get tempted to join in and argue with the preachers, I make a firm point not too. I think that the best solution to deal with people who come to campus and bellow discriminatory views is to simply ignore them. I know it’s easier said than done, but one of the main reasons people like that come here is because they enjoy having the audience. Why do you think they mainly come when it’s warm out? They know that they will have the largest audience and be the most comfortable. They simply enjoy arguing with the students and feel a sense of power from starting drama on our campus. If they were actually interested in spreading the word and teachings of Jesus Christ (which is love, by the way) they would do it rain OR shine. They would donate to the ASPSU food pantry or help pick up litter. These are not logical Christians; therefore arguing with them will accomplish nothing. This is our campus, not theirs. To take it back we simply need to rise above their hatred by smiling and enjoying the good things that spring has to offer.

garden

Confessions of an Urban Gardener

By Olivia Clarke

me

I first ventured into the PSU Community Garden last June, and I’ve been managing the Honors plot ever since. Thus far I’ve harvested strawberries, tomatoes, basil, and cucumbers, among other homegrown goodies.

The Community Garden is a great opportunity for PSU residents to make sustainable food choices and build community. However, I’ve encountered some downsides to having a vegetable garden on a college campus. Most residents leave for the summer, which happens to be an extremely important season for gardening. Plots get hopelessly overgrown during this season, and work that is put into the garden during the academic year is often wasted. Security issues have led to the installation of a lock, which puts a damper on the “community” vibe. I’ve also known some of my vegetables and bricks to go missing, and some plots even include homemade signs that read, “Please stop stealing our vegetables!” I find this lack of trust unfortunate in a community space.

Yet even considering these drawbacks and annoyances, I wouldn’t want to see the space used for any other purpose. Sure, college students might not be the most consistent or reliable gardeners, and the lock and the occasional theft can be irritating. The commitment to maintaining the communal spaces in the garden could definitely be higher. But for those of us who maintain our plots on a daily basis, gardening is a refreshing and rewarding addition to our college experience. It keeps us close to the earth, and it ensures that we know where our food is coming from. And what can I say? Those cherry tomatoes are delicious.

If you’d like to have your own plot in the Community Garden, just sign up here!

C.R.E.A.M.

By Teddi Faller

  
Nothing makes you feel older than when you have take a new job because of the financial benefits – like stable hours, higher pay, stocks and 401ks. I consider myself a die hard loyalist when it comes to jobs. This is probably because the first job I ever had was a dream and I was pulled kicking and screaming from it due to relocation.

After that I tried to find a similar job – and huzzah! — I succeeded. Unfortunately, retail and certain industries are suffering right now. The hours were inconsistent and the upward mobility was non-existent — no movement at all. I fell into that trap of comparing one job to another, which never ends well.

This leads to searching for new jobs even if you aren’t necessarily unhappy.

And if a new job offer comes along, you are faced with a difficult choice — stay with what you know or take a jump.

The scariest thing about putting in your two weeks’ notice is spending those next two weeks wondering if you made the right decision.

In switching jobs you:

1. Realize that you’re comfortable in your job
2. Realize how awful it is to be new at a job
3. Realize how much you like your coworkers
4. Realize how much you might not like your new coworkers
5. Wonder whether you made the right choice

Life is made of hard choices. Moments like these remind me that I am, in fact, a grownup. When staring student loans in the face, and the potential consequences that your loans might have on your future spouse — extra grown-up points? — career choices became more “what can I afford” rather than sticking with something that’s comfortable.

I suppose the takeaway from all this is simply to take risks when we’re young, so that when we’re older we can chase our dreams knowing we’re taken care of.

“Dorm Jealousy”

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By: Zaira Carranza

Since coming to Portland State University, I have made many friends that live in campus dorms. I can’t help but be a little jealous because living in the dorms would make my life way easier. One of my friend lives on the 10th floor of the Ondine. She has the most amazing view of Portland from her room. I always go visit her to take naps. She has one roommate and two suitemates whom she shares the bathroom and kitchenette with. The dorms are more spacious than I’d expected and you can decorate it as you please. My friend keeps hers very clean and minimalistic. Some of downsides of living in the dorms are being homesick and having to deal with roommates on stressful days. Other than that they are super convenient, and I can’t wait to one day experience dorm life.

psu

Is This Home?

Chronicles Grav

By Shezad Khan

This is my fifth year at Portland State, and my last year as an undergrad. It’s very common remaining for half a decade in one place is enough to make you sick. In March I received an email letting me now that I had been accepted into a Master of Arts in English Graduate Program. Obviously, I was incredibly excited and even a little proud of myself. Can you guess where I’ll be attending school for my years as a graduate student? How about somewhere else in the state or even a neighboring state? Maybe the east coast, or even out of the country!

Alas, the answer is that I’ve decided to stay right here, in Portland, to attend Portland State for another few years.

So what is about Portland State that is so enticing? I’ve met people from several different states and several different countries who moved to Oregon so they could go to school here. Maybe I should have taken the time to ask what influenced their decision. But since I don’t have their points-of-view, I will offer mine.

  • My family moved to Portland when I was just two-years-old. Although we moved out of the city itself, Portland will always be my home.
  • My first visit to Portland State was overwhelming. It seemed enormous. Although it looks a little smaller now that I’m used to it, it’s still a giant campus.
  • The diversity of students and staff is incredible. I came from a high school of about 3,000 kids, there was diversity there, sure, but nothing compared to the wonderful cultures that mix at PSU.
  • I’m always learning something new about the campus.
  • There is always some sort of event going on. I seriously need to take advantage of this one!
  • The staff that I’ve had the honor of working with and taking classes from are simply amazing.
  • Last, but definitely not least, I have met some of the coolest people at Portland State. With so many attending students, it’s hard not to make friends.

I’ve enjoyed my last five years at PSU, and I have no doubt that I’ll continue to enjoy it during my years in the Master’s Program, regardless of how long it takes.

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Wait… elections are happening?

By: Marilynn SandovalMarilynn

Did you know the ASPSU elections are going on? To be honest, I had no idea until I heard a group of people discussing running for office. In my time attending PSU, I have only voted once, and that was because someone I knew was running.

I like to complain about things that don’t get done on campus or changes that need to happen; yet I usually don’t participate in these elections. I would like to think that I’m not the only one who forgets they even happen. I assume the number of voters isn’t high.

So I decided to do some research on this year’s elections and vote. Yes, I said it, I’m going to vote this time around, and I think you should, too. Through my research, I found that this year’s elections are actually controversial and causing important debates. I would suggest you check out this article of the coverage of the elections this year [http://bit.ly/1HAM5H9]. I know some people who are running too, so that was definitely a nice surprise.

I won’t disclose my own personal votes, but I would suggest for you all to do some research and cast a vote this year. If you want a change to happen, put a little bit of work in. It wasn’t all that hard pushing some buttons and hitting submit.

Check ASPSU’s homepage to learn more about the candidates at http://bit.ly/1G3ZMyY and hurry because the poll closes at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 23rd.

Photo credit to hercampus.com http://www.hercampus.com/career/career-how-tos/5-ways-fight-senioritis-land-job-after-graduation

The Graduation Blues

Brooke HornBy Brooke Horn

I have a countdown app installed on my cell phone. It has three events on it: Portfolio Due, Thesis Defense, and Commencement, each with their own countdown timer. It tells me that I have six days left to finish my portfolio, thirty-six days left to panic about my thesis, and fifty-nine days until I will (with any luck) walk across the stage at the Moda Center, beaming, having earned a Master’s degree in Writing and Book Publishing.

That day feels both terrifyingly close and impossibly far away. There is so much to do before then, so much that could go wrong. And yet, even though it feels like my two-year degree program started yesterday, I feel confident. My education and experiences have equipped me with both a unique range of skills and, perhaps more importantly, the confidence to go forth into the mysterious beyond of post-graduation adulthood.

Never mind that I still waited until the last possible minute to file my taxes this year, or that I opt for pizza and Netflix instead of cooking a real meal more than I’d like to admit.

Over the past two years, I’ve juggled a full graduate course load, 2-3 jobs and internships each term, a serious relationship, and a leadership position on campus. Both of my parents were hospitalized due to medical conditions within the last few months too. To be frank, I’ve been a walking bundle of stress.

Keep-Calm-and-GraduateIf I could pass along one piece of advice to my fellow students, it would be this: learn how to manage your stress. Because you will, inevitably, face a point in your life when everything seems to come crashing down. Knowing how to relax, how to let go and take care of yourself – these are things that I never learned until I really needed them, and looking back, I wish I had learned them sooner. Now I know better: I recognize my limitations, and I listen to my body when it tells me to slow down, go for a walk, or pour a bubble bath.

But thankfully, both of my parents are recovering, my portfolio is coming along nicely, and my friends have been both patient and supportive. I bounced back. I’ve made lasting relationships – both professional and otherwise – and worked with some truly talented authors, students, and educators in my program. I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished, and I look forward to the future waiting on the other side of that stage.